COVID-19 is currently the internet’s most searched word. We live in a world where it’s hard to believe someone wouldn’t be worried about the current situation. During Lockdown, “Internet” was a true friend to most of us. It kept us occupied watching YouTube videos or spending time on various social networking sites and learning about VR and AR.
Gamers already knew about VR. They spend hours indulging in the virtual world. Nevertheless, VR is no longer limited to gamers because its spectrum has grown over the years.
Augmented and virtual reality go beyond entertainment and make their way into health and wellness. Remote patients seem to benefit most from this technology.
This technology opens a world of possibilities that are starting to be explored. Physical therapists already see the beneficial benefits of finding new ways to deal with their patients.
But how will virtual and augmented reality change the Physiotherapy Treatments? Its a usual query that interns working under me ask, “Dr. Tushar, How will VR technologies change Physiotherapy Treaments?”
Virtual Reality Exercises
Virtual Reality is now used to rehabilitate patients with strokes, and its adoption rate in physical therapy is growing daily.
The explanation for this is that virtual Reality offers a different viewpoint and a complete paradigm shift. Instead of performing drills, patients are immersed in a holographic world they are excited to explore.
This environment captivates their senses, and they can do the same movements that the doctor recommends — but without knowing they are doing physical therapy. Instead, they feed virtual animals, climb mountains, kayak down a swift river, etc.
In a physical therapy plan, a physical therapist may monitor and challenge activities as the patient progresses. This will usually frustrate the patient because as soon as they master one step, they are introduced to another and have to learn from scratch. Virtual reality apps make these changes even simpler by evaluating the data obtained from patient movements and modifying their software to accelerate the learning process.
In other words, VR’s immersive physical therapy experience allows patients to learn new movements while also working to reduce the muscle memory of previous, no-longer-useful activities or bad habits. In augmented Reality, the individual may concentrate on their actions’ outcomes and consequences as opposed to the action itself. It speeds the healing process of the patient, making their physical therapy experience even more fun.
A therapist can supervise the treatment.
Under the VR therapy program, patients are under constant supervision of a therapist despite being at home and can perform their exercises from there only. The Physio has access to progress data makes patients responsible and thus, more likely to comply with their plans for physical therapy.
Simultaneously, therapists may track patients from a remote location in real-time and motivate them to proceed with a new series of activities or allow them to stop.
VR regular appointments
The Virtual Reality Therapy software also helps patients to access their progress updates. They have to put the headset and get the file with all the indications and observations prepared by the therapists.
It reduces the need for multiple visits in person, enabling the therapists to concentrate on rare, high-risk cases.
Improved motor learning
There are patients with physical therapy that are incapacitated and have difficulties with moving and moving. The advent of virtual Reality for physical therapy has allowed the therapists to concentrate like never before on these patients.
Implementing VR in physical therapy has led to tremendous technical advances, such as the production of mobile controls for patients with disabilities. Such devices allow patients to use their limbs and heads to participate in a physical therapy program.
Furthermore, immersive VR services specifically involve the patient, rather than the therapist asking the patient for any workout. These VR systems help patients focus on fine motor skills and develop speech skills. This VR feature is particularly beneficial for children because it will feel like a game in the physical therapy program!
Application of Virtual Reality in physiotherapy
A person suffers from physical and cognitive impairments when he/she has a stroke. This makes daily activity and movement very difficult. That person can take advantage of the virtual Reality to practice the skills required to buy something from a supermarket. This enables the stroke patient to exercise their abilities in the virtual Reality they need in their lives.
Nowadays, there are several gaming companies making algorithms that can bring real-time experiences in VR to suit the user. It may encourage therapists to start the VR program and then raise the level of difficulty before the individual is comfortable enough to visit a real store.
Undeniably, Virtual Reality is one of those innovations that evolve significantly faster. Several businesses have already begun using it, many others to follow. Virtual Reality’s profound impact on the medical field is already evident as VR Physical therapy becomes more popular. During this COVID-19 pandemic, patients tend to stay home and be treated. And VR plays a significant role in that.